Two Daytona 500 Champions Among Hall of Fame Class
By Daytona International Speedway Communications // May 22, 2014
Bill Elliot Among New Class
DAYTONA BEACH, FLORIDA — The class of 2015 NASCAR Hall of Fame inductees was elected and announced on Wednesday in Charlotte, N.C., and two of the inductees are Daytona 500 champion drivers.
Bill Elliott: A two-time Daytona 500 champion, the Dawsonville, Ga., driver also owns a Daytona International Speedway record that will most likely never be broken – the fastest lap in a stock car. During 1987 Daytona 500 Qualifying, Elliott posted a fast lap of 210.364 mph. Overall, Elliott has 11 career wins at DIS and won the July NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race twice in 1988 and 1991.
Fred Lorenzen: One of NASCAR’s first true superstars, Lorenzen was driving for Holman-Moody when he won the first rain shortened Daytona 500 in 1965. With rain approaching, Lorenzen, nicknamed the “Golden Boy,” was in a tight battle for the lead with Marvin Panch. As the two drivers battled coming off of Turn 2, they made contact and Panch spun down the backstretch. The race was declared official after 133 laps.
Wendell Scott: One of NASCAR’s true trailblazers, Scott was the first African-American to race fulltime in NASCAR’s premier series, as well as the first to win a NASCAR premier series race. Scott posted a remarkable 147 top 10s and 495 starts during his 13-year premier series career. He won more than 100 races at local tracks before making his premier series debut, including 22 races at Southside Speedway in Richmond, Virginia, in 1959 en route to capturing both the Sportsman Division and NASCAR Virginia Sportsman championships. Part of Scott’s NASCAR legacy extends to present day with NASCAR’s Drive for Diversity program, the leading youth development initiative for multicultural and female drivers across the motorsport industry since 2004.
Joe Weatherly: Weatherly won two championships (1962-63) and 25 races in NASCAR’s premier series. But that’s only part of his story, which is long on versatility. A decade earlier in 1952-53, he won 101 races in the NASCAR Modified division, capturing that championship in 1953. He even tried his hand in NASCAR’s short-lived Convertible Division from 1956-59 winning 12 times. When he won his first NASCAR premier series championship, in 1962, he drove for legendary owner Bud Moore. When he repeated as champion a year later, he drove for nine different teams. At Daytona International Speedway, Weatherly captured back-to-back victories in the qualifying races in 1961 and 1962 and finished second in the inaugural Firecracker 250 in 1959.
Rex White: Consistency was the hallmark of Rex White’s NASCAR career. He finished among the top five in nearly a half of his 233 races and outside the top 10 only 30 percent of the time. White was a short-track specialist in an era in which those tracks dominated the schedule. Of his 28 career wins in NASCAR’s premier series, only two came on tracks longer than a mile in length. Driving his own equipment, White won six times during his 1960 championship season, posting 35 top 10s in 40 starts. He finished in the top 10 six of his nine years in the series including a runner-up finish in 1961.
In addition, NASCAR announced that Anne B. France won the inaugural Landmark Award for Outstanding Contributions to NASCAR.
France, paired with her husband, NASCAR and Daytona International Speedway founder Bill France Sr., would create what today is one of the largest and most popular sports in the world. Anne played a huge role in the family business. “Big Bill” organized and promoted races; she took care of the financial end of the business. She first served as secretary and treasurer of NASCAR, and when Daytona International Speedway opened in 1959, served in the same roles for the International Speedway Corporation. She also managed the speedway’s ticket office. France remained active in family and business life until her passing in 1992.
“The NASCAR Hall of Fame continues to honor those that have made great contributions to our sport and this year’s inductees all have strong connections to the history here at the ‘World Center of Racing,’ ” Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III said. “This recognition is well deserved and speaks to the rich heritage of the sport.”
The stars of NASCAR return to Daytona International Speedway on July 3-5. Tickets to the Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race and the Subway Firecracker 250 Powered By Coca-Cola NASCAR Nationwide Series race are available by calling 1-800-PITSHOP or online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com.
Fans can follow NASCAR and stay up to speed on the latest news by using hashtag #NASCAR and #COKEZERO400. Fans can also stay connected with Daytona International Speedway on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest for the latest news all season long. Fans can also follow the latest on DAYTONA Rising, the $400 million frontstretch renovation at the “World Center of Racing” by using #DAYTONARising on Twitter or visiting www.daytonarising.com.